In the past 25 years of walking with the Lord I have personally witnessed countless believers succumb to the “siftings” or inward agitations of the enemy. Sadly, leaving their faith and the church family behind shortly followed. Likewise, I rejoice in saying that I’ve also seen many rise from this battle stronger and more fruitful on the other side having done all to stand.
When offense stands before you it’s usually under very difficult circumstances. The pain of rejection and betrayal can seem too much to bare. The voice of reason and logic can bring a false comfort in the midst of the storm, guiding you into a deeper pit if followed. When these inward agitations or conflicts arise the Word must be allowed to be the light in the place where there seems to be no light. The Word must take lead role when contradictions arise between what you feel and the truth!
A UNIFIED CHURCH
Why is Christian unity such a threat? It’s because a unified church is one of the strongest evidences of the truth of the gospel! This is especially true in a world as fragmented and divisive as ours. When the rest of the world can’t seem to agree on anything or bear to be around people who are different, a church where natural enemies become siblings in Christ is a powerful alternative.
“Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace,”
Ephesians 4:3 TPT
“I urge you, my brothers and sisters, for the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree to live in unity with one another and put to rest any division that attempts to tear you apart. Be restored as one united body living in perfect harmony. Form a consistent choreography among yourselves, having a common perspective with shared values.”
1 Corinthians 1:10
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples,” said Jesus, “if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
WHAT UNITY ISN’T
To some people, unity seems like conformity. Biblical unity is not uniformity. The family of God is a diversity of people, gifted to serve each other for the sake of unified maturity in the faith (Eph. 4:11–13). Though we are one in Christ, God doesn’t erase our unique gifts, abilities, personal preferences, or other distinctions like gender or age. He also doesn’t erase our ethnic and cultural heritages (Rev. 7:9). Once we have grounded ourselves in the identity of Christ, we can let go of what scares us about our differences. Christian unity actually allows us to fully express and appreciate our differences.
1. Can you see why the enemy would like to keep a people divided? (Biological and church family) What do we gain as a result of unity?
2. What must be done in the face of disunity or offense?
3. Why is it important that we understand the difference between conformity vrs unity? (Your contribution matters. What you bring to the body is unique and is vitally important.)